Data services, though a longstanding specialization, is a fast-growing and in-demand niche in the academic librarian job market. That said, it is still somewhat of a mystery to many outside of a small circle in academic librarianship. This essay attempts to remedy this mystification. The author gives an overview of data services librarianship, using examples from her San José State University INFO 220-12 class, “Data Services in Libraries,” to illustrate the core aspects and activities of this specialization in academic libraries. In so doing, she elucidates how this specialization is at once a natural extension of established roles for academic librarians and also an opportunity for librarians to expand their roles for increased relevancy in the higher education research enterprise.

About Author

Mandy Swygart-Hobaugh is the Team Leader for Research Data Services as well as the Librarian for Sociology, Gerontology, and Data Services at the Georgia State University Library. She is also the sole campus-wide trainer for NVivo qualitative data analysis software and chairs the Data Management Advisory Team. In addition to her MLS from Indiana University, she has a MS and PhD in Sociology from Purdue University. She has taught INFO 220-12 Data Services in Libraries at San José State University since Fall 2014.